As we honour International Women's Day tomorrow, we are reminded why the political empowerment of women is so important. Globally, women perform two-thirds of the world's work, but earn just 10% of the income. South Asia alone is home to 844 million people who live in extreme poverty, and well over half of them are women.
The might of ‘‘soft power’’: PM Yingluck Shinawatra is thronged by admirers. For a nation to achieve well-rounded development, the political empowerment of women is vital.
The political empowerment of women is critical to human development and to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Worldwide, women continue to be under-represented in national parliaments, occupying less than 20% of seats and accounting for just 18% of government ministers. A recent United Nations Development Programme report noted that the Asia-Pacific region has the lowest percentages of women in national legislatures of any region outside of the Arab states _ 18.2% in Asia and in the Pacific just over 15%. However, if you exclude Australia and New Zealand, it drops to just 5%.
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